We believe being carbon neutral is just the beginning.
Being a sustainable wine business is very important to us, which is why we’ve invested heavily in renewable energy and heat generation.
There are many ways to approach a sustainability or carbon footprint strategy and much is dependent on the activities of that company. The Lanchester Group runs a commercial sustainability strategy which helps us prioritise the biggest impact projects which also make financial sense.
Our operations on the Greencroft Estate are powered by three wind turbines which produce around 5,500,000 kWh (kilowatt hours) of clean, renewable electricity per year. We presently use around 42% of this electricity with the remaining – enough to power x800 three bedroom homes – feeding into the national grid, via the company’s on-site substations, for use locally. A 41 kW solar array on the roof of our sister company, Lanchester Wine’s office complex is calculated to produce enough clean electricity to cover day-to-day use.
As a business, we continue to make choices about our long-term sustainability which go above and beyond both legislation and common practice. Our first wind turbine project started in 2011/2012, followed by installation of solar panels and ongoing initiatives to our buildings, including additional insulation and LED lighting which uses 20% of the electricity used in conventional lighting.
To date, our sustainability practices at the Greencroft Estate have:
- saved close to 11,750 tonnes of Carbon
- generated enough clean energy to power 60,200 houses
Looking to the Future
Our business continues to grow and our sister company, Greencroft Bottling, has started work on its new development – Greencroft Two. When building is complete in summer 2020, Greencroft Two will become the world’s most sustainable wine bottling facility, powered entirely by renewable wind and solar power – and heated with wine!
You can see the site in our drone footage below and find out more about the project at www.greencroftbottling.com/greencroft-two
Pioneering world changing technology
For our latest endeavour we are pioneering world-changing heat pump technology using water from disused mine workings at our warehouses in Gateshead. Working with organisations including The Coal Authority, Environment Agency and numerous academics, we are the first business in the UK to draw heat from disused coal mines – we have capability to draw over 110 litres of water a second.
Our aspiration is to become a thought leader and sharer of best practice. As a privately owned, family business we are in a largely unique position which enable us to experiment and take risks in order to find new solutions, and we want others to emulate our successes – we believe what is good for the environment is good for us all.
We were shortlisted for a Business in the Community Environmental Leadership Award
In 2005 we built a much needed office extension, using the greenest and most sustainable materials and techniques available. Home to half of our offices, board and meeting rooms, a catering kitchen and a tasting room, our new eco-friendly home is powered by solar panels covering the roof. County Durham isn’t exactly known for long seasons of strong sunshine, so our turbines pick up any slack on darker days.
Our windows are high tech glass which help us to control the temperature, keeping us cool in summer and warm in winter. We heat and cool the building using air source heat pumps, which extract the heat from the air outside rather than use power. Our lighting is power saving and automatic, turning itself off when a room is not in use to conserve energy.
We keep our transport emission as low as possible. Our fleet includes:
- Volvo low emission vehicles
- BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf EVs, charged with wind generated power
- Mercedes Euro 6 rated trucks
You may have seen our Carbon Minus stamp or logo on some of our wines.
This stamp means we’ve bottled this wine on Greencroft Bottling‘s lines. These are predominantly powered by wind energy. This means we’ve offset the carbon used in the transportation of the wine.